Sydneysiders Left Fuming About New $35 Minimum Opal Card Top-Up At Airport

After loophole was discovered

Sydneysiders Left Fuming About New $35 Minimum Opal Card Top-Up At Airport u/LionKing_P1/ Reddit

A Reddit user has reignited a debate about the cost of the train to Sydney airport after spotting a sign informing transport users of an update to Opal card requirements.

Commuters travelling from domestic and international terminals and purchasing a new Opal card are now required to top-up by at least $35 - more than twice the price of a single fare into the city - in order to access the Airport Link train.

The new rule comes after the NSW Government claimed that a loophole in the airport system - which allowed train users to run into negative balances when leaving stations and then binning their Opal card - was costing them millions of dollars.

But Reddit users have dismissed the new minimum cost, questioning why the many are being punished for the actions of the few.

"A few people tap with negative balance at the airport, so what?" one wrote. "Let's force everyone to top up twice the Airport Link fare to compensate?"

A second pointed out that getting an Uber may work out cheaper for some travellers.

"Can from domestic to Central is about $30 all inclusive," they wrote. "With Uber it's even cheaper.

"I usually take Airport Link train only one way, on my way back from the airport because some friend would have given me a ride for the outbound flight.

"Having to top up $35 to pay a $18 fare is absolutely ridiculous, especially when the remaining $17 will be sitting on my Opal card which I never use."

Another wondered: "So for the uninitiated visitor they would buy an Opal, put $35 [on it]. Then travel ($18) leaving a balance of $17, they they'd have to top up again to get back to the airport?"

As the rule only applies to commuters purchasing a new Opal card, anyone with a current Opal card will still be able to top-up online and won't be liable for the $35 minimum.